Brewers Sweep Rangers in Sunday Matinee

Rangers Brewers
(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

Brewers 6, Rangers 2

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Aug 20) — The Texas Rangers‘ offensive struggles continued on Sunday, as they fell to the Milwaukee Brewers, 6–2, at Globe Life Field. Other than a solo home run by Corey Seager, the NL Central leading Brewers kept the opposing bats to a whisper as they leave town with a sweep of the AL West leading Rangers. Fortunately for the Rangers, they were aided once again by the Seattle Mariners. Their 2.5 game lead stands as the Mariners beat the Houston Astros, 7–6, earlier in the afternoon.

From here, the Rangers embark on a nine-game road trip starting with a quick two-game set against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, which will begin on Monday with first pitch scheduled for 8:40 pm Central. Right-hander Slade Cecconi (0–0, 3.48 ERA) will get the start for the Diamondbacks. Lefty Jordan Montgomery (8–10, 3.30 ERA) will be on the hill for the Rangers.

Brewers Refuse to Quit

From an offensive standpoint, this entire series tilted in the Brewers’ favor. They scored nine runs in the first game, six runs in the second game, and six runs in the third game. They got their offense rolling in the top of the third on Sunday. With the bases loaded, Rangers starter Max Scherzer hit Willy Adames with a pitch just below his left elbow. This allowed Tyrone Taylor to score. After a brief delay by the Brewers to see if Adames was alright to continue, Rowdy Tellez stepped to the plate.

Suddenly unable to find the strike zone, Scherzer walked Tellez, and that brought home Christian Yelich from third. On deck was Andruw Monasterio, who popped out to short to end the brewing inning (pun completely intended). The Rangers cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third on Seager’s 23rd dinger of the season. It was of the line drive variety off right-hander Adrian Houser, and it sailed over the wall in center.

Late Offense

The Brewers added an insurance run in the top of the fourth. Taylor scored again, this time on a double to right by Yelich. They extended their lead to 6–1 in the top of the eighth. With reliever Will Smith on the mound, Taylor drove in Victor Caratini and Brice Turang with a triple to right. Caratine and Turang both reached on singles, with Turang stealing second prior to the triple by Taylor. Moments later, a single to left-center by Carlos Santana plated Taylor. The Rangers managed to inch closer in the bottom of the ninth. With Bryce Wilson on the mound, Ezequiel Duran scored on a 4–3 groundout by Leody Taveras. Duran reached on an infield single earlier in the inning.

Uncharacteristic Outing for Scherzer

Scherzer struggled in his fourth start in a Rangers uniform. He took his first loss as a Ranger, bringing his record to 12–5, with an ERA of 3.77. His line on the afternoon was 3 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R-ER, 4 BB, 4 SO, 99 pitches/61 strikes. He owns a 3–1 record with a 2.66 ERA since being acquired by the Rangers from the New York Mets on July 30. Scherzer threw 42 pitches in the third inning, allowing two runs on one hit, three walks and one HBP in the frame. On a positive note, he passed Hall of Famer Phil Niekro (3,342) for 11th place on the all-time strikeouts list when he struck out Brice Turang in that same inning.

Houser allowed one run in five innings to earn his second win in August. This comes after he won three starts from May to July to begin his season. He opened the year on the injured list. His record is now 5–4 with an ERA of 4.28. He had seven strikeouts on Sunday, which is his second-most in a game this season. Rangers batters went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position against Houser in the series finale. Devin Williams recorded his 30th save of the year to shut the door on the Rangers.

Postgame Comments

After the game, Rangers manager Bruce Bochy elaborated on what went wrong for the Rangers over the weekend, starting with Scherzer’s performance. He said, “You have to give him credit. He really had to grind out at-bats. They laid off tough pitches and when you think about it, it sort of mirrored how we are a lot of times in those situations. You can’t help but tip your cap to a team that throws your own game right back at you.”

“They had a good series doing that on us. We walked some guys with the bases loaded, and you had the hit batter. It’s tough to work around that, and today we just couldn’t do it. We couldn’t get this offense going. We’re in a bit of a funk right now, but we’re about to get on the road. We’re going to see if we can tighten some things up.”

 

 

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